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  • Writer's pictureMeaghan Davenport

Puppy Socialization

As breeders, each member of Magnolia Road Doodles realizes how important proper socialization is for our puppies. We want them to grow up being happy, healthy, and well-behaved. During the puppies' first 8 weeks of life, we begin introducing them to the world around them. As we do this, they become confident and unafraid of people, places, and things they will experience throughout their lives. The window for socialization begins to close around 5 months, so these first weeks are critical.

Here are some of the ways in which we are socializing our new puppies. These key pointers should be used by you to continue the socialization process with your new pal once they get to their new home and surroundings.

Touch with humans

Getting them familiar with humans touching their body is crucial when it comes to socialization they have to be comfortable with human physical interaction. The following examples are ways you can interact with your dog to familiarize them with the human touch.

  • Check the ears

  • Examine mouth and gums

  • Opening the eyelids

  • Squeezing the feet

  • Handling and trimming toenails

  • Pinching skin

  • Cradling the puppy in your arms

  • Holding him in your arms

  • Hugging your puppy

  • Holding the puppy on its back

  • Grabbing the collar

  • Grabbing the puppy by other parts of the body

  • Touching the puppy’s tail

Unfamiliar people

It can be complicated when it comes to introducing your dog to all different types of people. Many reasons people get a dog is for protection, to alert the owner when trouble is near. You do want to introduce your dog to all people if you can.

Examples of people to introduce your dog to

  • Women

  • People of different ethnicities

  • Tall men

  • Men with beards

  • Men with deep voices

  • People wearing hats

  • People wearing sunglasses

  • People wearing backpacks

  • People walking with canes or walkers

  • Teenagers

  • Toddlers (walking and squealing) Infants

  • Elderly

  • Children playing

  • People running

  • People riding a bike

It's also important to watch for body language with dogs because they know when something isn't right. No matter the person your dog is interacting with, this interaction should always be monitored.

Patience is key! If the dog is unwilling to interact nicely with the person you are introducing them to maybe try another time.

Make sure the dog feels comfortable and is in a neutral spot when meeting humans. Dogs want to please their owners. They may take time to warm up to a stranger, but with patience and positive reinforcement your dog and the humans in your life will form a lifelong bond.

When I brought home my newborn daughter, my three dogs were so excited to see her and they were jumping all over me and their little noses went crazy! We didn't introduce them right away though, because our dogs get so excited when someone new comes to the house we waited until they calmed down and we brought them back one at a time to sniff her and get used to another new tiny human being involved in their everyday life.

Visual and Noises

In the world we live in there are noises everywhere and whether you want it to happen or not your dog is gonna hear these. If it is their first time hearing any of the noises listed below be patient and don't get mad at the pup if they bark they just don't understand what the noise is.

  • Sirens

  • Fireworks

  • Car Horns

  • Motorbikes

  • Thunderstorms

  • Crowds of people

  • Wheelchairs

  • Cars

  • Trucks

  • Doorbells

  • Skateboards

  • Airplanes

Many dogs, if they've experienced trauma, can become quite shaken up at the sound of strange noises. Take my sister's dog Tucker, for example, he was adopted by her and her boyfriend when he was around 3 years old and he did experience trauma. Every time there's a thunderstorm he starts to shake uncontrollably and usually hides in a corner or a closet. When seeing how your dog may react to some noises it can be scary and or sad to watch but talk to your veterinarian about it if you suspect your dog has had trauma in its life with the previous owner, and get their advice on ways to help your furry friend out!


Life is full of social events and taking your dog to these places can be convenient for going out of town and great for socialization and playtime with other dogs of all shapes and sizes.

  • Boarding Kennel

  • Daycare

  • Pet Store

  • Parks

  • Dog-Friendly Restaurants

  • Dog-Friendly Events

  • Dog Training Class Locations

  • Veterinarian

Objects and flooring

Dogs are much like infants. They need to get used to flooring too…

  • Tile floors

  • Wet grass

  • Stairs

  • Wood floors

  • Carpet

Take our dog Jezzy for example. She loved going upstairs but absolutely refused to go downstairs. Not even kidding, every time I called her back down she would bark like we were crazy!! We tried treats to lure her down and we tried moving her paws so she knew how to go down the stairs and then after a while when the treats and movement weren't helping we would have to pick her up and carry her down. Now don't get me wrong it was easy when she was 20 pounds but not so fun when she got up to 50 pounds. But eventually, she was able to walk down the stairs, she does take her time and it's hilarious to watch but she did get there.

Now let's talk about the vacuum. I have never met a dog that doesn't bark in a vacuum! Everyday household items are important things to introduce to your dog too, it's much like having a baby you want to make loud noises around them when they are born so they don't get spooked or wake up due to a strange noise.

  • Pots and Pans

  • Brooms

  • Balloons

  • Umbrellas

  • Bags blowing in the wind

  • Sidewalk signs

  • Garbage cans

  • Vacuum cleaners

  • Escalators

  • Elevators

Meeting animals

You may have other animals that live with you or live around you, so you'll also want your dog to feel comfortable around all animals that you may see on a daily basis. This includes…

  • Puppies

  • Male Adult dogs

  • Female Adult dogs

  • Kittens

  • Cats

  • Farm Animals

  • Pocket Pets

Having a new puppy is an exciting adventure, but they need solicitation to become a well-behaved, well-trained, and friendly dog! Remember that these things won't happen right away. Patience and repetition are also important, don't feel discouraged if your dog can't warm up to people, places, and things immediately it takes time for the dog to feel comfortable around all things in our everyday life.

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